Is ABS still relevant? Innofil3D ABS review #Filaween

ABS is arguably a dying material, superseded by co-polyesters where toughness is required and PLA for high-quality, rigid prints. Is there even still a need for parts made from plain ABS?

A lot of you have been asking for more ABS filaments to be included in the Filaween series, so today we’re having a look at the Innofil3D ABS, which is a very affordable filament at 23€ per kilogram. Disclaimer: ABS is a bit of a double-edged sword, as it’s relatively easy just to print, but hard to master and create prints that can compete with a well-tuned PLA profile since the general recommendation is not use use a part cooling fan for ABS, but instead a heated chamber to keep the print warm during printing. Keep in mind that i’m testing filaments in typical real-world conditions and am not making use of the luxury of a fully enclosed and heated machine.

As such, i printed the Innofil3D ABS as recommended at 235°C onto a 100°C heated PEI bed, to which this filament stick perfectly. Typical for ABS, the overhangs test was quite messy, but bridges and fine details came out perfectly and scored full marks. The 3DBenchy only scores 3 out of 5 points for some pronounced temperature artifacts and discrete gaps, which might stem from the spool coming filled up past the brim from the factory and consequently tangling itself around whichever spool holder you might use.

Strength was consistent, but consistently at a very low level, with the specimen failing before i could take the reading for flex at the 1kg mark. I even repeated these tests with the natural color Innofil3D ABS and got comparable results. A heated chamber would probably have helped for strength, or alternatively a higher print temperature, but judging by the artifacts we’re already seeing at 235°C, this would have degraded print quality even more. At least temperature resistance was good, which is to be expected for ABS.

Still, overall, the flaws we’re seeing here are maybe less of an issue with the Innofil3D ABS specifically, but rather an indicator that ABS might not be the best material to print for everyday use unless you’ve got a machine specifically set up for just this material.

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